Tanzania  |  Mt Kilimanjaro Climb
 
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro 5895m
 
An Experience of a Lifetime!
Mount Kilimanjaro, at a height of 19,344 feet, is the highest mountain in Africa. Kilimanjaro contains the only permanent glaciers in Africa. The view from the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is incomparable and the entire climb presents an ever-changing series of natural environments, from tropical rainforests to an eerie world of ice and snow.
Skills and routes
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro does not require professional climbing skills. It is, however, a strenuous climb and physical fitness is extremely important. There are several different routes up the mountain with varying degrees of difficulty. Before you decide on climb, you should consult with your physician and choose the best suited to your physical abilities. One good ‘’ measuring stick’ to determine your ability to reach the summit is whether you are able to jog slowly for an hour or more without experiencing shortness of breath.
 
Guides, porters & accommodation
All of our climbs are accompanied by experienced mountain guides and porters. Accommodations differ depending on the route and include both high- altitude tents and dormitory- style mountain lodges. The facilities are clean but Spartan, so you should be prepare to ‘”rough it” as you make your ascent. One of your porters “double” as cook and will prepare three meals a day for you while you climb.
Equipment

You can rent equipment (such as sleeping bags, walking sticks, etc) locally, although many climbers prefer to bring their own sleeping bag. When you book, you’ll receive a detailed list of suggested equipment and clothing. Dressing in layers helps you adjust to the varying temperatures during the day and at different altitudes.

Routes
Kilimanjaro is an awesome spectacle, and climbing it is achievable by anyone who is determined and reasonably fit. There are several routes to the summit, of which we recommend four. The Marangu (7 Days) and Rongai are easiest, while Machame (8 Days) and Shira provide more difficult ascents.
Marangu Route
1 Night Springland Hotel – 5 Nights Climbing – 1 Night Springland Hotel
or 1 Night Springland Hotel – 4 Nights Climbing – 1 Night Springland Hotel


Arusha / Tarangire
The Marangu Route is also known as the "Coca Cola" or "Tourist" Route. It is the easiest and shortest route to the summit and many people in a hurry try to make the summit via this overcrowded route, although less than 50% will make it. 90% of the Kilimanjaro climbers use this route and all the other routes combined see 10% of the visitors...)

This is also the only route with the 'comforts' of sleeping huts at every campsite with solar lights and comfortable beds. The huts are communal, and the bunks have a sponge mattress and pillow. Men’s’ and ladies' latrines are available at each camp but very basic.

All climbing groups, share meals in dining huts; soft drinks (hence the nickname), bottled water, and beer are for sale at the huts. Bring small bills to purchase these items (prices increase with elevation). Although we list the 'standard itinerary here, we think it is crazy to attempt to reach an almost 6000m/20000ft peak in 3.5 days (on Mt. Aconcagua, in Argentina, you will reach this altitude for the first time on the 8-10th day...). This is not only silly but also dangerous; even though it's expensive, take a few extra days; better to enjoy all of them than walk around with a splitting headache for 5 days and not getting to the summit...

This route is usually done on 5 days but should be done in 6 days for better acclimatization (the extra day(s) can be spent resting at Horombo or climbing the small peak of Mawenzi). Let us know if you wish to add a day or two.
 
Itinerary

Day 01 – Kilimanjaro Airport / Moshi (910m)

You will be met at the Kilimanjaro Airport or picked up from Arusha Hotel and will be driven to Moshi for an overnight stay at Springland Hotel.
Overnight: Springland Hotel (D)

Day 02 – Moshi (910m) / Marangu Gate (1980m) / Mandara Hut (2700m)

Hiking time: 5 hrs.
Distance: 7.5 miles
Habitat: Montane Forest

The drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. Now you will leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro's animals are found. (An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail, branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either, after 1,5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.) Your first night stop, Mandara hut, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Overnight: Mandara Hut - Shared Huts (B,L,D)


Day 03 – Mandara Hut (2700m) / Horombo Hut (3720m)

Hiking time: 6 hrs.
Distance: 9.3 miles
Habitat: Moorland

From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater, which on a clear day will glimmer in the distance. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro's most spectacular plants like the endemic giant lobelia and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari). After about 6 hours from here you will reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, an evening meal, and will lodge for the night.
Overnight: Horombo Hut - Shared Huts (B,L,D) )


Day 04 – Horombo Hut (3720m) Acclimatization Day

Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Normally bustling with hikers, guides, and porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatization. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatization. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night's rest.
Overnight: Horombo Hut - Shared Huts (B,L,D)


Day 05 – Horombo Hut (3720m) / Kibo Hut (4700m)

Hiking time: 6 hrs.
Distance: 9.3 miles
Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast you will continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the "Saddle" (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and is shorter, it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night's time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!! Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Horombo hut, a stone built blockhouse which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at about 1900hrs (around 7:00) and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
Overnight: Kibo Hut - Shared Huts (B,L,D)


Day 06 – Kibo Hut (4700m) / Uhuru Peak (5895m) / Horombo Hut (3720m)

Ascent time: 8 hrs. to Uhuru Peak
Descent time: 6 hrs. to Horombo Hut
Distance: 9.9 mile ascent, 13 mile descent

You will rise around 2330hrs (about 11:30), and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman's point (5685m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort (probably the most demanding section of the entire route). Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillman’s Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction - you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Overnight: Horombo Hut - Shared Huts (B,L,D)


Day 07 – Horombo Hut (3720m) / Marangu Gate (1980m)

Hiking time: 6hrs.
Distance: 16.8 miles

After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. The climbers who reach Gillman's Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reach Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You will now be taken back to Moshi for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations at the Springland Hotel!!
Overnight: The Springland Hotel (D)


Day 08 – Moshi (910m) / Kilimanjaro Airport /

After breakfast you drive back to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your return flight or to Arusha for your safari.

MARANGU ROUTE – 4 nights climbing
1 Night Hotel – 4 nights Climbing (1 Night Mandara Hut – 1 Night Horombo Hut – 1 Night Kibo - Hut – 1 Night Horombo Hut) -1 Night Hotel
Season No. of Pax PPS SRS
1st Jan – 31st Dec 2014 1 pax $ 2,020.00 $90.00

2 to 4 pax $ 1,570.00 $90.00

5 pax or more $ 1,530.00 $90.00
 
MARANGU ROUTE – 5 nights climbing
1 Night Hotel – 5 nights Climbing ( 1 Night Mandara Hut – 2 Nights Horombo Hut – 1 Night Kibo- Hut – 1 Night Horombo Hut) – 1 Night Hotel
Season No. of Pax PPS SRS
1st Jan – 31st Dec 2014 1 pax $ 2,263.00 $90.00

2 to 4 pax $ 1,802.00 $90.00

5 pax or more $ 1,740.00 $90.00
Machame Route
If Marangu is the "Coca Cola" route, then the Machame Route is the "Whiskey" Route. It is the second most popular and arguably the most scenic route on the mountains. All climbers’ sleep in pre-prepared tents and meals are served on the floor of a dinner tent or on a blanket outside. It is done over six to seven days, so acclimatization is easier, and the success rate is fairly high.

With the Machame/South Circuit route, you will circle halfway around the mountain with great views from all angles. This route is approximately 40 km versus 20 km on the Marangu route. It is for physically fit people with some hiking experience. Descend down the Mweka trail and stay at the Mweka camp the final night on the mountain.

The route is usually done in 6 days but a day or two can be added. (The extra day(s) can be spent resting at Shira plateau or to cut up the Barranco- Barafu part up into 2 easier days (recommended). Let us know if you wish to add a day or two.
 
Itinerary

1 Night Springland Hotel – 5 Nights Climbing – 1 Night Springland Hotel

Day 01 – Kilimanjaro Airport / Moshi (910m)


You will be met at the Kilimanjaro Airport or picked up from Arusha Hotel and will be driven to Moshi for an overnight at Springland Hotel. Overnight: Springland Hotel (D)

Day 02 – Machame Gate (1490m) - Machame Camp (2980m)

Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: About 18 km's
Habitat: Montane forest

Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and you can also buy mineral water in the village. Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.
Overnight: Shared Tents (B,L,D)


Day 03 – Machame camp (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m)

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 9 km's
Habitat: Moorland

You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3840m. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.
Overnight: Shared Tents (B,L,D)


Day 04 – Shira (3840m)-Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)

Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
Habitat: Semi desert

The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower, definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability, and headaches. After lunch you descend again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner.
Overnight: Shared Tents (B,L,D)


Day 05 – Barranco camp (3950m) - Barafu camp (4550m)

Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: About 13 km's
Habitat: Alpine desert

After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut. The last water stop on the route is the Karranga Valley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice" and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at about 1900hrs (around 7:00) and try to get some precious rest and sleep.
Overnight: Shared Tents (B,L,D)


Day 06– Barafu Camp (4550m) / Uhuru Peak (5895m) / Mweka (3100m

Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak - 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka
Distance: About 7 km's ascent - 23 km's descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise around 2330hrs (around 11:30), and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned, but short, rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared.
Overnight: Shared Tents (B,L,D)


Day 07 – Mweka camp (3100m)- Mweka Gate (1980m)

Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
Habitat: Forest

After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You now drive back to Moshi for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations at the Springland Hotel.
Overnight: The Springland Hotel (D)


Day 08 – Moshi (910m) / Kilimanjaro Airport /Arusha

After breakfast you drive back to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your return flight or to Arusha for your Safari.

Machane route costing
Kilimanjaro Trekking - MACHAME ROUTE
1 Night Hotel in Moshi – 5 Nights Climbing – 1 Night Hotel in Moshi
Season No. of Pax PPS SRS
1st Jan-31st Dec 2014 1 Pax $2,335.00 $90.00
  2 to 4 Pax $1,803.00 $90.00
  5 Pax or more $1,750.00 $90.00

 

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